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text 2018-08-12 00:02
Preliminary and evolving Halloween Bingo TBR

I typically average about 5 books a month, so unlike many of the more voracious readers here, I’m not even going to attempt to black out my Bingo card*.  So I think I’m going to follow the same strategy that I used last year – pick a likely row with a handful of interesting books and then just wait for the calls to catch up. Here are some of the books I'm debating for the start.

 

 

A3 – Slasher Stories

Sandman Slim - Richard Kadrey 

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys - April Genevieve Tucholke 

 

B3 – Spellbound (an embarrassment of choices)

The Good, the Bad, and the Undead - Kim Harrison (can also fit Deadlands, Cryptozoologist, Shifters et c.) available as an audiobok

The Book of Life - Deborah Harkness  (might also fit Relics & Curiosities) - available as an audiobook but at 24 hours is longer than might commit to in audiobook during Bingo

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld - Patricia A. McKillip   

A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab  (one of many places this can go since I don’t have the Darkest London Square).

 

C3 – Raven

The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater (reread - though this can also go many places)

one of the overflow from Spellbound

A short story TBD 

 

D3 – 13 

We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson (even though I think this will stretch my comfort zone and could go elsewhere)

Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo 

Or more Raven Boys

 

E3 – Ghost Stories

The Girl in the Green Silk Gown - Seanan McGuire  (could also fit New Release)

 

 

*Yes, I know short stories count towards Halloween Bingo, but I can’t see reading 25 of them in a 2-month span either.  (And I’m just too likely to get sucked into the anthology and not move to other squares anyway)

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text 2018-08-11 03:03
Halloween Bingo - Unofficial Buddy Read?
A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab

I've now seen A Darker Shade of Magic on half a dozen reading plans for Halloween Bingo 2018.  Who'd be interested in turning it into an unofficial buddy read?

 

I suggest that we start either over the weekend of September 15/16 or the weekend of September 22/23, though I'm open to any time that doesn't conflict with the official Buddy Read.

 

So who's interested and what dates do you suggest?

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review 2018-08-09 20:18
Review: Give The Dark My Love
Give the Dark My Love - Beth Revis

Review - Give The Dark My Love

 

I received a copy from Penguin's First to Read.

 

Initially I had mixed feelings about this book, mainly as the beginning was rather boring and seemed to have some fantasy tropes that are starting to seem rather overdone.  However the latter half of the book took a darker turn and the end was pretty damn good and unexpected. 

 

It starts off with the story's heroine Nedra is leaving her twin sister and her parents to head off to a posh academy she has earned a scholarship to to study alchemy. She comes from a poor village, and despite her reservations about leaving her family they all tell her it's the right thing to do and of course she's destined for greatness. 

 

We learn there is a terrible plague sickness sweeping through the lands and there appears to be no cure, once the symptoms are spotted the sufferer is doomed. There are quarantine hospitals for the sick, the disease spreading mostly through the poor people. 

 

Nedra didn't seem to have much of a personality at all really. She was nice enough, ready and willing to learn, and of course all the fancy rich students who attend the school look down their noses at her. Right away she manages to make a friend with a very rich handsome boy, Greggori And gains the attention of one of the most difficult professors to please. 

 

It's just a tad bit eye rolling. And of course before long it's abundantly clear Nedra is far more talented than anyone initially thought she would. Much to the chagrin of some of the students. The plot is interesting enough as Nedra learns more about the plague and how alchemy can help the victims. The way the alchemy works a little stomach churning. But it seems to be the only thing doing some good. 

 

There's a subplot going on along the lines of some of the wealthy rich men (including Greggori's father and his best friend and their family) don't like the fact that the island they live on is under rule by one Emperor who governs countless lands and empires. They want the island to be free so they can make their own laws. Doesn't help that the emperor is only a teenager. Nor do they like the new governor he has appointed to rule their island is a woman. (This comes into play much more later on the novel).

 

Nedra finds herself caught up in a search to find the cause of the plague which is becoming worse by the moment, and not just affecting poor people throwing everyone's theories on the origin out the window. This is becoming the sole focus of the plot. Along with Nedra's relationship with Greggori is of course growing into something more than friendship. Greggori is slowly starting to realise there's more to Nedra. And his own views on the side plot are changing. 

 

The Governor makes a few appearances in the novel helping the sick at the hospital Nedra is working in and appears to be nowhere near as bad as the press and everyone else is making her out to be. 

 

Biggest problem for me was Nedra is just so dull as a main character. Both she and Greggori are so wooden and uninteresting. I had no interest in their barely there slow burn romance (which is usually one of my favourite romance tropes) Nedra becomes almost dangerously obsessed with stopping the plague. 

 

She finds herself using darker and more forbidden forms of alchemy - necromancy. This was where the plot really started picking up and I just didn't want to put the book down. I needed to know. Nedra becomes much more interesting and so meticulous and careful about her planning. Faced with a personal tragedy  that seems to define a turning point for her. 

 

I can't say I particularly liked her any more as a character but I could certainly empathise with her and completely understood her determination to find a cure, no matter where it took her. Though there is a fine line between using alchemy to help a greater cause but then finding something darker that works to a personal gain. There's definitely an interesting grey area that all logic seems to vanish over once things become more dangerous and intense. 

 

There were some pretty epic twists towards the end that I did not see coming at all. And left at one hell of a cliffhanger. At one point I wasn't even sure I was going to bother finishing this book, but now I have to know what happens next!

 

A bit of a slow start but definitely worth sticking with. 

 

 

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text 2018-08-09 03:53
#Halloween Bingo 2018

I'll join my voice to the rousing chorus thanking Obsidian Blue and Moonlight Madness for inviting us to play Halloween Bingo with them.  

 

Even though I haven't picked books yet, I can't wait to show off my glorious card!

 

 

I'm amazed at those of you who already have a TBR list.  While I have a few things I'm thinking about, I plan to spend the next few days window-shopping the reading lists ably compiled by Murder by Death and all of your TBR posts before announcing my intentions.

 

 

And if you aren't already spooked into joining us, you have until August 30, 2018 to become enthralled.  Cards requests for the newly enspelled are placed here

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text 2018-07-13 10:07
Book Dinos Stole My Heart

 

You can buy the products with the dinos from Society6 shop: https://society6.com/bonniepangart

 

 

Source: www.behance.net/gallery/35415767/Book-Dinosaurs
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